Gaol for Driving Whilst Suspended in Victoria Successfully Appealed
Driving Whilst Suspended; Driving in Breach of Interlock Condition; Drink Driving
The client had 2 driving matters occurring on separate occasions.
The first matter, heard at the Dandenong Magistrates Court, was in relation to the client breaching an interlock condition (i.e. not having an interlock device installed in the car she was driving). She had had a similar prior matter and so, given her very bad driving history, the magistrate sentenced her to one month in gaol, to be served immediately.
This was not a good outcome and we advised the client to appeal. At the County Court reports were obtained and tendered and, following lengthy submissions, His Honour overturned the original sentence and imposed a Community Corrections Order.
This was a far more appropriate outcome and only assisted with the second matter because the client was now on a County Court CCO.
The second matter however was much more serious: One charge of Driving Whilst Suspended, one Drink Driving charge and one charge of breaching an interlock condition. Both charges breached a one month suspended gaol sentence previously imposed for driving matters.
Not surprisingly, the client did not want to go to gaol. It was always going to be difficult to avoid a gaol sentence in circumstances where the client was breaching a suspended gaol sentence, we advised the client to keep up her present counselling regime and to continue to do well in relation to her County Court Community Corrections Order.
By the time the second matter came to Court there was enough material to establish that exceptional circumstances existed. Despite the fact that the client had breached her suspended sentence with very similar offending, the magistrate decided the appropriate course to adopt was a concurrent Community Corrections Order to follow the County Court Order.
Please note: This was a highly unusual outcome. Usually, when defendants breach a suspended sentence with the same type of offending that attracted the original suspended sentence, they go to gaol. The client was very fortunate on this occasion.
The result was due to a combination of factors: sound legal advice and appearance work along with a dedication by the client to continue counselling and her Community Corrections Order and stay out of further trouble. It was an excellent outcome.